The lights are down, the tree stripped bare, no Santas
stand guard on the mantles and porch.
The manger and shepherds are all packed away
in bubble-wrapped safety for another full year.
The punch bowl is washed, pretty bulbs wrapped,
no carols or heavenly hosts can we hear.
The boxes and totes return to the closetand the mistletoe green has turned golden.
But pine boughs remain in crocks on the tables,
and apples glow red in their baskets.
Brown sticks of cinnamon scent the kitchen,
keeping the dullness of winter at bay
In times long past this wasn't the end of the season.
The people back then made their holidays last.
The feasting and singing continued for days
and Old Christmas, I think, was King of the year.
So heat the wassail and make the King's Cake,
make ready to toast the good apple trees,
for it's only the ninth day of Christmas today;
we have until Twelfth Night to celebrate more!